Genetically modified foods (GM foods) are banned in 60 countries- yet GM foods in Maryland are not even labeled as such, so consumers like you can’t make informed choices about what goes into your shopping cart. Here is what you need to know to protect you and your family.
In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) warned: “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid GM foods.
While there is cause for concern regarding GM foods, chemical companies that produce GMOs and agribusinesses across the country are fighting to prevent our right to know what foods contain GMOs.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not do safety studies on GMOs and relies on the biotech companies to do their own studies, which are kept secret from the public. These companies have been marketing GMOs without adequate testing. We, our children, our pets, and our wildlife, have all become lab rats in this experiment to see what long-term effects eating GM foods will have.
GMO pollen can travel for miles by wind or via pollinating honeybees. These GMO genes then infect non-GMO and organic crops. Allowing the increased use of GMO agriculture could mean the contamination and eventual extinction of natural species.
Without mandatory, legally defined labeling there is no traceability, accountability, or liability.
Two counties in Oregon banned growing GMO crops and three states to date have passed GMO labeling laws so consumers can make educated decisions on the food they buy and feed their families. In 2013 Maryland legislators voted down a Maryland GMO labeling bill.
GM CROPS REQUIRE INCREASED USE OF PESTICIDES
Genetically modified organisms/foods merge DNA from different species, in order to create a new trait that doesn’t occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Over 75% of all GMOs are altered to be herbicide-resistant. Increased planting of Herbicide-resistant GMO crops has led to a dramatic increase in herbicide use. The overuse of herbicide-resistant crops has also led to “super weeds”, and the destruction of pollinator habitat.
Farmers use considerably more herbicides on GM crops, resulting in the food having higher herbicide residues. GM crops are engineered to withstand heavy applications of toxic herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup – killing weeds and all other plant-life except the GM crop. These herbicides, which are harmful to human health and the environment, wind up in most of our waterways and lead to significant environmental pollution and degradation. GMOs and increased pesticide use are a major factor in the increasing death rates of honeybees, monarch butterflies, and bird populations.
The chemical/biotech industry promised growing GM crops would lessen need for pesticides.
Crops known as “GM Bt” are engineered to produce a toxic insecticide within every cell of the organism in order to kill the bugs that attempt to eat these crops.
Contrary to popular belief, the pesticides used on GMOs cannot be washed off as they are absorbed into the crops. For Bt crops, this is in addition to the insecticide already present within the crop itself.
GMO products currently on the market are corn, soy, canola, sugar beet, cotton, alfalfa, Hawaiian Rainbow papaya, yellow crookneck squash, zucchini, and derivatives of those crops including cottonseed oil. Aspartame is also a GMO. GMO ingredients are used in as much as 80% all processed foods in America. Monsanto’s unlabeled GMO Bt sweet corn is now sold in stores across North America.
Buy Organic! Certified organic products cannot intentionally include any GMO ingredients
Look for “Non-GMO Project” verified seals
- Avoid at-risk ingredients including soybeans, canola, cottonseed, corn, and sugar from sugar beets
- Support GMO labeling in Maryland – follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@MdPesticideNet) for opportunities to make your voice heard in support of GMO labeling
For research supporting the information on this page, click here.
For more useful GMO information